Social Media Marketing – Using Social Networking to Build Links, Leads, and Sales
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Introduction: Can Social Media Marketing Really Work for You?
Chapter 1: Will They Stay Your Facebook Friends?
Chapter 2: Making Your 140-Character Tweets Count
Chapter 3: Can You Digg It?
Chapter 4: Are Your Stumble Upon Efforts Stumbling?
Chapter 5: YouTube: Why Going Viral Is a Good Thing
Conclusion: How Combining Your Social Media Marketing Sites Will Benefit Your Company
Every year, companies spend millions of dollars to attract customers. In fact, much of the operating cost of any successful company is spent in getting potential customers to buy into their services, and company owners often find that no matter how much they spend, their message often isn't reaching the people who will buy their product.
For that reason, many firms are looking to the Internet and to expanding their social media marketing efforts on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and anywhere that they can make people aware of their companies. While most social media sites were created with the idea of linking everyday people with their friends or with strangers who will become their friends, it didn't take long for businesses to realize that these websites were powerful tools to use to build their links, leads and sales.
The premise seems pretty great if you own a business. You create a page and profile on the website, and suddenly, everyone will know who you are. If you're a business, you've just made the whole world aware of you without having to pay a cent out to advertising salespeople, creative artists or any of the many other professionals who you've been spending so much money on. It's easy and it's free, right?
Yes, social media marketing and networking is a great tool to use to let potential customers know who you are. However, just creating a profile is just part of the work. So many companies just have someone create that profile, make a couple of posts and then sit back to wait for the customers and money to keep flowing in.
That isn't the way it works. While social media sites don't charge you to use them, unless you're purchasing advertising, that doesn't mean that it doesn't cost you anything to use them to market your business. It might not cost cash – unless you hire professionals to keep your company's information out there – but it will cost you time and effort to make sure your social media marketing efforts are working.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter have thousands of corporate profiles that have been created and that lie dormant. That's because those companies have short-sighted leaders who think that Internet users are trolling the sites, just looking for corporate profiles. If you've just about given up on your social media marketing efforts because they don't seem like they're working, please keep reading on. In this ebook, you'll not only learn how to start your social media marketing campaign, but how to keep it succesfully moving on and gathering followers on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube. Followers eventually become customers, and with these proven strategies, you'll find that your marketing efforts will show marked improvements.
Chapter 1: Will They Stay Your Facebook Friends?
Until recent years, word purists would have laughed at you if you told them you were going to “unfriend” them.
However, this year, the word is being used so much that it's been named the word of the year for 2009 by the New Oxford American Dictionary. One of the reasons it was chosen is that there is no doubt what it means. It's defined as a verb that means you're removing someone as a “friend”, primarily on Facebook, but also on other social media sites such as My Space, or anywhere that you have virtual friends.
And while we might have a falling out with a friend in real life, and while we might even be angry enough to decide not to be friends with that person anymore, until now nobody has said they were “unfriending” their friend. They just quit calling or going out to lunch, and that was that.
It's a whole different thing on Facebook. If someone is posting items you're not liking, or has been insulting or intrusive, you delete them from your list of friends ¬-- or unfriend them – with a simple click of the button.
It's unusual, sort of, for the folks at the New Oxford American Dictionary to choose as its top word a phrase from the Internet. However, Christine Lindgerg, senior lexicographer for the Oxford U.S. Dictionary program, said in a press release that the choice was made because unfriend “has both currency and potential longevity. In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year."
But if you think of it, anyone who has had a Facebook account has at one time unfriended someone or another. Maybe it was an old boyfriend whose friend request you approved out of curiosity; maybe it was someone who was using their Facebook account to try to convert others to their religion. The most unfriended accounts, however, are likely the corporate campaigns that are sometimes so enticing, you can't help but friend them, or become a fan of their site, just to get the gift they're offering in exchange.
One of the most successful marketing ploys of the past season was for the restaurant chain TGI Friday's, which offered a coupon for a free burger to everyone who became a fan or friend of their site within a certain period after seeing the personable spokesman, “Woody” and his friends and their funny anctics.
The commercials led thousands of people to sign up and become “Woody's” friend in exchange for that coupon? Free food is free food, after all, and those burgers are pretty tasty.
The coupon came in a few days after TGI Friday's lured enough fans to its Facebook page, and it's likely that TGI Friday's did a bang up business for a few days serving up beers or sodas to wash down that free burger, and plates of appetizers to eat while customers were waiting for their sandwiches.
But it's hard to tell just how many of those people actually kept Woody and TGI Fridays as a friend on their sites after the coupon excitement was over. After all, while many people on Facebook like to have as many friends as their lists can hold, others are pickier and want to keep their own pages from becoming full of companies' advertising. TGI Fridays, while having one of the more successful Facebook marketing ploys in 2009, was not the only company to use the promise of a gift to entice people to their profiles.
There have been offers of everything from free lipbalms to the promise of being the winner of a gift card drawing. Come one, come all, said the companies, and with the economy being in its ongoing dismal state, Facebook users did. Many of the most-viewed profile pages of the year were those of companies that offered users a prize to visit.
But think back. If you're a Facebook user and you became a fan to get a burger or some other prize, did you keep up with those companies after you signed up with them? Or eventually, did you unfriend them?
Numbers are a great thing, and it's impressive to get a lot of them, particularly on a social media site such as Facebook. However, each of those numbers represents a potential customer. If you're not keeping those potential customers interested, then they're not going to stick around and be your friend. It's just like when you try to buy friendships in real life. Do those friendships ever really work out? Or does the friend who is doing the receiving just want more and more? Because when one party wants more, and the other party doesn't deliver, eventually the relationship breaks up.
So if that's the case, how do you keep your Facebook friends from unfriending you? The best way is to provide posts and items that are interesting, not just posts that advertise your business. Then, when it comes time to try to get people to purchase something your website is selling, you're not giving them the idea as an advertiser, but as a friend who has something great to show you.
One great example of a company that is doing its Facebook marketing in a very effective way is vintageroadside.com. Vintage Roadside is an online gift shop and history site that features t-shirts and other items with authentic graphics from the 1930s – 1960s.
Every day, Vintage Roadside puts something interesting on its status updates. Its owners travel extensively throughout the country, and snap photographs of many vintage points of interest, including old hotels and motels and much more.
They post their travels all the time though their site, and encourage others to post their own travel photos in return. Not only that, but they encourage their fans and friends to converse back and forth with them on Facebook, and they get very involved in the conversations.
Even if Vintage Roadside was selling nothing, they get you involved in their profile through these conversations and photos. And then, when they have a new t-shirt that they're selling, they put a link and photo up, just like they would any other of their links and photos – and the fans and friends are very excited to see what the new addition is. There's no push by anyone to sell shirts, just a statement saying “here's our new shirt. The picture was taken from a 1950s ad for the old Such and Such hotel.”
And the fans and friends always are happy to see the newest t-shirt, and they line up to buy them. That's because the folks at Vintage Roadside have learned the proper way to use social media. They always treat their followers like they truly are friends, and when it comes time to make a sales pitch, they present it like a suggestion from one friend to another.
Anyone looking to keep their friendships alive on Facebook should treat them like real-life friendships. Remember:
1. Communicate frequently. Just like in real life, you shouldn't connect with your friends only when you want something from them. Respond to comments and occasionally start some conversations of your own that don't have anything to do with whatever the item is that you're trying to sell.
2. You can't buy your friends. Yes, you'll attract people by offering free items. In fact, you'll attract a lot of people by offering them presents. But once that free item is gone, the new friends will be too. That's because a friendship based on a bribe is not a friendship at all.
3. Keep it interesting. Take, for example, NASA. The agency effectively markets itself on Facebook by posting minute-by-minute updates of shuttle launches and other space programs, that makes its followers really feel as if they are part of the space missions. It's a fascinating inside look at the program that has brought the agency to the attention of a whole new generation of people who weren't even around during the moon launches. A interesting friend is one everyone loves to visit often.
4. Listen to what they have to say – good or bad. Not all of your friends are always kind in their comments, nor should they be. We've all got a right to our opinions, and this includes our friends on Facebook. If you are getting comments on your Facebook page that indicate you're not doing something right, listen respectfully and respond. If your Facebook friends think you're taking them seriously, they'll keep you on their friends list.
It's great to have friends on Facebook, and don't forget, those people on your lists have friend lists of their own. The potential to connect with others, and to expand visits on your own website, is amazing. However, you do need to work to maintain your friendships on Facebook, so your efforts aren't putting you among the ranks of the unfriended.
Chapter 2: Making Your 140-Character Tweets Count
Just the other day, one of my co-workers asked me why I Twitter.
“Don't they only allow you 140 characters?” he said. “What can you say in that space?”
It's funny, many of the most memorable sentences ever uttered come in at under 140 characters or less. Take, for example:
• Jesus wept. 11 characters.
• I have a dream. 16 characters.
• Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. 37 characters.
• There's no place like home. 27 characters.
As you can see, the value of any message isn't measured in how long it takes you to write it; the real value is what the message itself says. So just why do you only get 140 characters, anyway? After all, it's a big website, so why isn't there more room on there?
While Twitter is one of the largest social media marketing sites on the Internet, it's only been around since 2006. In that short time, it hasn't just been a popular website to visit, but one that has actually added to the web's vocabulary. After all, who would have ever thought of “tweeting” before now?
It still seems like quite the marketing gimmick. Give someone 140 characters, and see what they can say? Realistically, the 140 character-limit was determined because of the use of text messaging. When you're text messaging, who wants to, or even can, put in a message that's really long? You get in and out with a few characters that say what it is you want to say, and then you get back out again.
It's the same with Twitter. There's no room for novels, and once you reach that 140-character limit, that's it. You can't type any more words. Therefore, it's important to get in and say whatever it is you want to say, and get back out again.
CEO Evan Williams explained it like this in an article about the surging popularity of Twitter: “What we have to do is deliver to people the best, freshest and most relevant information possible. We think of Twitter like it's not a social network, but it's an information network. It tells people what they care about as it is happening in the world.”
So if Twitter is an information network, why not use it to get out the best information you possibly can about yourself or the product you're marketing?
So how does this all translate into getting sales leads for your company?
The art in Twitter isn't just in creating amazing statements, but in creating links that other Twitter users will pass along to their followers. After all, nobody's going to talk about your website, or link back to you, if you're using Twitter to post statements like “I have new shoes for sale.” But if you're really wanting to sell those shoes, you might just be able to track down some shoe-loving Twitter users by reworking that boring little Tweet and providing a link to those shoes.
But you'll have to do it in such a way that would entice people to click on that link.
If you're looking for great shoes, which would you click on? “I have new shoes for sale,” or “Are your shoes hot?” followed by a link?
There are thousands of people using Twitter these days, and of course, not all of them are being followed, let alone retweeted. The basic fact of life is this, when it comes to Twitter, if you're boring, you won't be followed. And if you're not followed, that's a whole subset of people who aren't visiting your website or buying your service or product.
So let's get you followed, shall we? To get you followed, you're going to have to work on making your tweets not only interesting, but relevant for whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. That means taking a good look at your strategy, if you really intend to use Twitter as a serious marketing tool:
1. What is it you are trying to say? You have 140 characters to catch a customer's attention, or lose it. That means you will have to make your message very specific.
2. Do you know the importance of that old standby, the keyword? Keywords aren't just important in a blog or on a website. They can make or break your Twitter efforts. That's because other Twitter users – and possible customers – won't just find your tweets by stumbling around and discovering them. If someone is looking for shoes, they'll type shoes into the search engine on the site. If you don't have a keyword or two in your tweets, will your customers find you? Of course not.
3. Do you have anything in your tweet worth repeating? Are you having a great sale? A great bargain that people won't be able to find anywhere else? Or do you offer a product that's very unique? Go ahead and tweet about it.
4. Find other companies in your field and follow them. Yes, they might be competitors, but it's likely that other Twitter users who follow those companies will see you among their followers and then follow you as well.
5. Tweet every day. It can be a couple of items or several. But if you don't tweet, you won't be heard. Companies that aren't heard don't sell anything.
6. Make sure your links work. Check them carefully before tweeting. Links that don't work just annoy fellow Twitter users, and links that take them to other websites lead them away from your business.
The main thing to remember about Twitter is that there are many users involved. If you know how to follow them to your advantage, and to get them to follow you, then this is one social media site that can bring visitors and potential customers to your website or business by the hundreds.
This can also work against you. Since there are so many users, it's easy to become lost in the crowd. That's why it's important to make your tweets count.
After all, there is a great deal you can say in 140 characters, if you pick those characters carefully. Those characters have a way of adding up to being a quite powerful tool.
Meanwhile, you should also be very mindful of how Twitter, just like any other social marketing site, is contributing to your reputation. It's not enough to just be putting great tweets out there. Do you realize that other Twitter users won't follow you if they perceive that you have a bad reputation?
For example, if you follow about 1,000 people, but nobody is following you, that tells other users that your posts aren't worth following. Likewise, if your followers consist of pornographic websites, women selling various “services”, and spammers offering get rich quick schemes, that will also cause people to quit following you.
And once that happens, it won't matter if you write the modern-day equivalent to “Call me Ishmael” (yet another great sentence with far fewer than 140 characters!), your posts won't be read, followed or retweeted. Be very careful who is following you on Twitter, and cultivate your relationships carefully. Every follower you lose is a potential customer that would be lost.
Chapter Three: Can you Digg It?
So you've built the great website, and you're tweeting it like mad. Every day, you update your Facebook updates, and you're well on your way to getting that big fan base.
But are people digging you?
No, we haven't traveled back in time to the 1960s. We're referring to Digg.com, one of the more popular social media websites available these days online. With all the talk about Facebook and Twitter, sites such as Digg are sometimes forgotten about when companies are working on their marketing and sales plans, and that's a real shame, because Digg can be a valuable tool.
It's so valuable because while you're busy building the buzz on Facebook and Twitter, Digg works when other people build your buzz for you.
On Digg, users share content and websites that they personally enjoy. Other users, based on their interests, then view the links and vote on them. The more votes a link gets, the higher the ratings go, and the more other people see them.
In addition to the rising rankings, users can also talk about the websites and items that are placed on Digg. When a site is getting a lot of discussion, it also rises in the rankings.
Sounds like a lot of ifs, doesn't it? And aren't a lot of ifs rather uncertain?
Ordinarily, a lot of ifs would be an uncertain way to market your business. However, in this case, those ifs can add up to users and ultimately customers. That's because with a few simple posts online, your website, video or online store can potentially be brought to the attention of many potential customers. But how do those posts get on Digg to begin with?
1. Use the friends you already have. How are you doing on Facebook and Twitter? Do you have a lot of followers? Use them to refer you. Put a link to Digg on your profile or after your blog entries, and encourage your users to join Digg and refer you.
2. Are you a member of Digg yourself? Because if you're planning to use Digg to promote your site, you should become active in that site's communities. Find content you like yourself, and become involved in the discussion boards. Occasionally suggest sites that you like and enjoy. Once you befriend other Digg users, they'll see what you have to offer, and they'll follow your sites.
3. Build a network of friends on Digg. If you chat with people on the site and build a group of friends, those people will be very likely to recommend your posts, when they come on. Also make sure you recommend their posts occasionally; they'll remember the favor.
4. Find people you trust (even if you have to hire them!) to put your website or links up on Digg. The site itself looks down on people who post their own links on Digg, and in fact, if you do it too much, you'll get yourself banned.
5. Sign up for RSS feeds and look into what the competition is doing. If there are similar companies to yours, subscribe to them and keep an eye on their news. If they seem to be pulling ahead of you in the Digg rankings, you can always tweak your entries. However, you won't know how they are ranking if you don't follow them some.
Digg does take some time to use, but it can be very effective. Any site that puts your website or product out there and gets you word-of-mouth referrals is a great site indeed. It's all about making friends and keeping them, and then being faithful right back. The result will be much better than having followers who won't help you; it could be followers who will lead customers to your products.
Chapter Four: Are your StumbleUpon Efforts Stumbling?
Long before I began getting into the use of social media as a marketing tool to let others know I was trying to make some money out of my writing habit, I found this great website that I couldn't wait to tell my friends about.
All you did was type in your interests, and it would feed you a steady diet of other websites you'd enjoy seeing, for as long as you wanted to play. And once I discovered that site – stumbleupon.com – I was addicted.
After all, you can always type in what you're looking for on Google or some other search engine, and you might or might not get websites that match up with what you're looking for.
According to the owners of StumbleUpon, here's how it works. The website uses thumbs-up or thumbs-down ratings from other searchers to form opinions on website quality, meaning that when you are using the site, you discover content that usually won't be found through a search engine. That sounds great for a searcher, doesn't it? But how does it translate into a website owner's sales and customer base?
Just like any other social media site, it's all in how you use it. As you can imagine, a website that hand-delivers your company's message right to the specific customer base you're seeking can be a very valuable thing indeed. The best thing to do with StumbleUpon is try it out yourself. Go to stumbleupon.com and register. You can then come up with a list of interests, and add them to your profile. Then add the StumbleUpon tool to your Internet browser's taskbar, which takes about two seconds.
If you're looking for great sites, click on the StumbleUpon link, and site after site, based on your interests, will come into your browser for you to enjoy.
Now that you've played around with it for a little bit, try this. Put your own sites on StumbleUpon for other people to enjoy, and add some key tags so other users can find it. Then leave it in the hands of StumbleUpon. If you've added key tags that people are searching for, or have added to their list of topics they like, your site will pop up on searches all across the country and world.
And just like that, you've put your own website, blog, forum or video out there for other users out there to find when they're browsing.
Thousands of people are using this, and if your site is optimized and tagged to meet those users, this can be a veritable gold mine. For example, one “mommy blogger,” who is the owner of the website workathomemafia.com, put her own site on there one day. By the end of the day, she had nearly 200 new visitors to the site, all of whom had come across it through StumbleUpon.
The beautiful thing about StumbleUpon is that it's free for everyone. And even if people aren't specifically searching for your site, eventually they'll be lead to it.
The thumbs up feature on StumbleUpon is ready-made for social marketing. If users click the thumbs up on your site, it will give it higher approval ratings. The more approval ratings a site gets, the more the service will send it out as a recommendation to users. It's social media marketing in one of its purest, most simple forms – almost from word of mouth.
And the more people there are “stumbling” onto your site, the more likely they are to click your affiliate links or even buy your products.
Another thing to remember is making your site interesting enough to stay on for more than a few second. Many StumbleUpon users are really browsing out of boredom. You have to have something on your site's landing page that will make those users stick around for a while. If you're selling a product, put a photo up there that catches the eye. If you're selling a service, catch the user's attention through colors, headlines, attractive web design or whatever it takes to keep the user on your site.
After all, if a user clicks on your site and then goes away a few seconds later, they're not sticking around to buy anything, and they're not clicking on your advertising and affiliate links. The attention span of many Internet users is very short, and if you don't catch their attention early through your own fine marketing efforts, StumbleUpon will not be much use to your marketing and sales efforts.
So, are you ready to start stumbling? Here's some tips to remember:
1. Bring your friends along for the ride. Announce on Twitter, Facebook and whatever other social media sites you're using that you're going after StumbleUpon users. If just a few of your friends and fans from other sites come on StumbleUpon and recommend you, it will bring your site higher on the ratings. The higher your ratings, the more stumblers you'll attract.
2. Make sure your website is ready for stumblers. Of course, you'll always want to keep your website optimized to keep users on it, but you'll need to take special care of your landing page once you start using StumbleUpon. If your site doesn't have something to catch the eye, others won't stay there long and they won't recommend you.
3. Join the StumbleUpon communities and talk with other users. See what they're liking and not liking, and if your website needs tweaking, you'll know what attracts others.
4. Be ready for increased traffic. Is your website ready for hundreds more visitors a day? If you're lucky and your efforts don't fail, you might just find yourself with a lot more visitors, and they won't be happy if your server crashes and locks up their computers. An unhappy website visitor won't give you those coveted thumbs-ups you're looking for on StumbleUpon, and more importantly, if your servers crash, who is going to be able to buy your products?
5. Use StumbleUpon yourself. The more you use a site, the more you'll understand how it works.
After all, when it comes to StumbleUpon, the more people stumble upon your site, the better. And who can argue with a system that can deliver thousands of customers right to your doorstep – customers who are already interested in what product or service you're selling?
Chapter 5: YouTube: Why Going Viral Is a Good Thing
Without the Internet and the advent of You Tube, being “viral” wouldn't necessarily be a good thing.
Who wants to be a disease carrier, anyway?
But that's not what the word viral means these days. Going viral is actually one of the best things that can happen to a video, a website or any content. What does going viral mean, anyway?
The term comes from the description of a disease virus, such as the flu. A virus starts out as a small, lifeless particle, and remains that way until it finds something to attach itself to. Once this happens, the virus begins to grow. It starts attaching itself to surrounding cells, and keeps growing and growing, until eventually it takes over its host body, and when the cells are overtaken, that's when the illness happens.
A video that's gone viral on You Tube works just about the same way. It starts out as a small piece of nothing, and then someone discovers it. They recommend it to a couple of friends, those friends send it on to more friends, and before long, that once-unknown video grows exponentially until it's taking over the Internet world, and oftentimes becomes just as well-known outside the Internet as well.
Take, for example, British singer Susan Boyle. By now, everybody knows the story of the homely little Scots woman who showed up to sing on Britain's Got Talent.
She was laughed at by the members of the audience until she opened her mouth and stunned them by singing like an angel.
Britain's Got Talent isn't a television show that's shown in the United States, but within a short time everyone knew the story of Susan Boyle. That's because her video went viral. Someone put the video of her appearance onto YouTube and before long, site users found it there, and started sending it on to their friends.
They not only did that, but they started posting it on their Facebook pages, and tweeted the link on their Twitter accounts. It didn't take long before the plain little woman with the huge voice became a household name. She didn't win Britain's Got Talent, but she's well on her way to becoming a major star.
Now there's a television show being made about her. Her first CD, “I Dreamed a Dream,” made its debut at Number 1 and her record label noted that she had the best first week sales of 2009. not only that, but her album was the best-selling debut by a woman in the Billboard SoundScan era.
Now, Susan Boyle is a very talented woman, and she might have become known without a video that went viral. However, when that video -- of the most e-mailed and referenced videos ever on You Tube – went viral, that's when Susan Boyle went from a curiosity on British TV to a superstar.
There are plenty of other viral videos on You Tube. We've all seen the young man who shrieks and cries “Leave Britney alone!” and the videos of laughing babies.
And it stands to reason that a website that delivers such fame to such small people could be a godsend to anyone who wants their social media marketing efforts to deliver their message to a huge number of people in a short time. But there are literally thousands of videos on YouTube. Why would anyone seek yours out?
What you will have to look at are the videos that have achieved success. Go onto YouTube and watch some for yourself. When you enter the site, you'll see tabs for the most popular, the most e-mailed and more. Some are funny; some are serious.
What you'll see about the ones that are getting the most visitors and the ones that are being sent on is this – they're unique, and they make you remember them.
And the videos that make people remember them are the ones that start small and grow, just like that little disease virus.
So how do you get that video to go viral, if only for a little bit? Here are some steps to try:
1. Plan out your video carefully. Anyone can grab a Flip cam and start recording and put themselves on YouTube in a matter of minutes. But if you're taking your social media marketing campaigns seriously, a great YouTube video can be an important part of that. Shouldn't you put your best effort out there?
2. Make your video unique. You don't have to shriek like a demented teenaged girl, but the best videos are either funny, have great music or show some kind of talent that can entertain, enthrall, or just help the watcher come to a solution for a problem of some kind.
3. Do you have a Facebook account? Put a link to your video on there for all your friends to see. Most of the time, when a friend puts up a video link, other friends click on it and watch it. If they like what they see, they'll recommend it to their own friends.
4. Make sure you tweet about your video. You have to help others find your video before they'll know to watch it. If your Twitter followers like what they see, they'll retweet your link, and if your video is good, others will repeat that link.
5. Don't forget the power of your own website or blog. Put a link on your site about that video. You can even do a blog post about how you made that video.
6. Do you have a newsletter? If you do, and you mail that newsletter out, include a link to your video on it, or maybe even the video itself.
7. If you've made a video, include it in your newsletters. If you have advertising, include a link to your video on it.
8. Make your your tags on the video are effective, so that people searching for the topic you specialize in can find you. A video that isn't found won't ever become viral.
Now, what if it becomes viral? Do you stop and rest on that? Of course not. If you've taken the plunge, do more than one video, and build a YouTube profile. If someone is watching one of your videos, chances are they'll stay on your profile and watch some more, if they like the one they've just seen. If they think any of those videos are useful, they'll send them on to their friends.
Your videos may never make you as well-known overnight as Susan Boyle became, but if your videos are sent out to more than one person or website, you've become viral, even if it's only a little bit. Obviously, the more people who see your videos, the more people will know your product. Any effective social media marketing campaign depends fully on people seeing what it is you do.
So get out that video camera and get busy. It's really not hard, and it can add immensely to your social media marketing efforts.
Conclusion: How Combining Your Social Media Marketing Sites Will Benefit Your Company
Nothing that's worthwhile is ever easy, and the same holds true for a business' social media marketing strategy.
While this ebook has discussed several strategies about effectively selling your product through the use of social media websites, the fact remains that there is no one simple solution for selling your products or services. A website owner might be tempted to rely on only one social media site to help with marketing efforts, and this is a huge mistake.
Of course, the more exposure a product gets means the more likely it is to be sold. However, using several social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, StumbleUpon and many of the other fine sites as well in combination with each other will mean a steady growth of exposure that could lead a company or website to further successes.
For example, let's start with the website you have been working so hard to make complete. You've added great content, maybe some blogs and artwork and possibly even a forum. But how do you get the word out about that website?
Social media networking sites work best by working with each other. While the companies are in very strong competition with each other, networking means to link the capabilities of many different types of services, because such links will serve to make your own marketing stronger.
Let's say, for example, you start your social media marketing right on your site. After your blogs or entries, make it easy to share your site:
1. Include a share box under every article or video that allows readers to post a link to their Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or even personal blogs.
2. Open the article up for comments. Depending on the website, you may or may not want to monitor those comments, but getting a conversation going is one way to get more people to read your message.
3. Don't make people “join” your site to comment. If they like your site, they'll join it anyway, and readers don't like joining every website where they want to make comments. In fact, most people will decide not to comment if they have to join your site, and you'll end up missing some valuable feedback.
4. Give them a way to subscribe by RSS feed. That means every time there is a new article, they'll get a copy of it. The more articles go out means the more that get shared, and that means more people will be reading your content. Then move on to those sites you've invited your readers to use while sharing.
5. Join Twitter and Facebook and create public profiles for your website. Make sure the profiles are entertaining and engaging, as well as ones that will attract fans or followers.
As noted in the first chapter of this ebook, there are a lot of ways to attract fans. Make your public profile posts fun and interesting to other Twitter or Facebook users, and most of all, engage them in your site. Don't just try to sell them, but make them feel as if they are truly involved. Show interest in their comments, good or bad, and include them in your product. People who are involved in your product will be more likely to buy it.
Once you start building that base of friends, you can start putting them to work for your efforts. Don't worry, they won't notice it, and if they like your site, they'll want to share their newfound knowledge with their own friends. This is where it gets fun, because you can start encouraging people to recommend what they've seen about your site on other sites.
For example, you can have someone place your site on StumbleUpon, or you can even do it yourself. Then make sure you put the news out there on Twitter or Facebook, complete with a link to your site on StumbleUpon. Encourage you fans to support you on there by giving you a thumbs up. The more thumbs up you get, the more new people will see your website. Just a few carefully placed thumbs ups from some friends on StumbleUpon can potentially lead hundreds of new visitors to your website, and of course those visitors could become paying customers for items or services you're selling.
Then try the same thing on Digg.com. You shouldn't post your own items on Digg; doing that too often will just get you banned, and besides you'll just alienate your fellow “diggers.” But if you post an item on your website or blog, or even a Facebook post that encourages your friends to come visit you on Digg, you'll be surprised at the support you can get.
And now that you have your Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon and Twitter campaigns begun, try adding a video into the mix. Keep the video buzzworthy and put it up on YouTube. Then put links for that video on your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Tweet about your video, more than once. Put the video on your Facebook profile so other people can enjoy it. You can even put a link for the video in through your StumbleUpon account, so that others can stumble upon it.
The key to successful social media marketing is getting the word out. Luckily, with the many websites available to all of us, we can get the word out about our websites and businesses.
It takes some work, some creativity and some careful cultivation of online friends and fans, but eventually, if you use the many social media sites carefully and thoroughly, you can end up with the kind of advertising that money just doesn't buy – word of mouth referrals that can lead to the exponential growth of your business. And the great thing about it all? If you do it yourself, all of the sites talked about in this ebook are free to use and to build your business with.
While many people use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for fun and friendship, smart business owners know that websites that get people talking are the sites they should be involved in.
Once your social media marketing work is in place, it will be no time to sit back. This procedure takes constant work and updating to remain relevant, and if you let up on your work, your efforts will just slip away while others step in.
Keep up the hard work, and reap the rewards – with a little luck and a lot of technique, you'll go far.